Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Slippery fish

It seems to me, in general, there are two types of writers. People for whom ideas come easily and the craft and follow-through are a challenge and people who struggle with their idea, but the craft and revising flow unimpeded. This is a vast oversimplification of course, but in general it seems like most writers I've met lean towards one or the other group.

I am in the second group. I wrestle with ideas like slippery fish, but once I've caught one I can whip up dinner in no time flat. This is probably not the best analogy, books have little in common fish and I am a vegetarian, but slippery carrot doesn't work quite as well... anyhow... I long to be one of those writers with ideas buzzing round their heads all the time, who need merely choose which spark will make their masterpiece. But I do love the rush of energy once I've got my momentum going and can really sink my teeth in. Right now I am at the cusp, about to dive in, writing aimlessly until the pieces I need come together. It's a place I cannot stand and will do anything (blogging for instance) to avoid, but usually passes quicker than I think it will.

Which type of writer are you?



I think I'm the former. I usually have a bunch of ideas ready to be worked on, but molding them into a cohesive plot is a huge challenge for me. I think I can fairly say I'm plot-challenged, so I always seem to get stuck right around 1/4 - 1/2 of the way through. But I did find that if I break it down and outline chapter by chapter rather than trying to outline the whole book (very overwhelming for me to think I have to write a WHOLE book), it works better.

Dow said...

I like your analogy. I find I am a great fisherman! But wow, to turn my fish into a fancy five course (or more!) meal - that's a whole 'nother story. :)

Annalisa said...

Author, Julia Cameron once said "Writing is about getting something down, not about thinking something up.”

I write best when I don’t have to lie nor strain to tell the story.

If we stick with the fisherman's theme...for me, its like casting a fly fishing line allowing the line to whip and dash in the air before plopping onto the river water. Then, letting it sink and drift into a nook where that slippery fish is waiting to bite without a fuss.


Anna Alter said...

I like that quote! If nothing else, writing is certainly more enjoyable that way.